|eLearning and Networking Goals|
Our challenge: Connecting busy people from multiple sectors.
Changing flow of resources.
* Read Stephen Downes article about 'Connectivism' and Connective Knowledge' , then
In Chicago we're facing a growing number of killings of inner-city youth. While the papers are bringing this back to the headlines, this is a problem with poverty at its root, which has been a problem in Chicago and other major cities for decades.
There is no quick fix. Yet, had public and private leaders in Chicago been consistently working toward developing volunteer-based tutor/mentor programs in high poverty neighborhoods, since 1994 when the Tutor/Mentor Connection was created, perhaps there would be more of these programs in high poverty areas, and fewer young people choosing destructive behaviors as a way to express themselves.
Since that has not happened, we're in a start over mode, as this 2015 blog article illustrates.
Following are key concepts that we seek to incorporate in on-going learning and networking:
a) convergence - tutoring, mentoring, education-to-careers, youth development, etc. mean different things to different people, depending on the economic and social isolation of the people being served. Social workers, businesses, educators, prevention, etc. each look at solutions differently, or fund different programs. Yet they are all part of the actions needed to help individual kids move from poverty to careers. Workshops under this theme are intended to draw people from different strands of service into collaborations that deliver multiple services from central sites in neighborhoods where such services are needed. A power point that illustrates this concept can be found at Creating a Learning & Collaboration Network
b) out of the box learning - while many efforts are aimed at improving what happens at schools during the school day, the conference focuses on increasing the variety of tutoring, mentoring and learning opportunities that are available in every poverty area and near every poorly performing school during non-school hours, on weekends and in the summer. Workshops in this category demonstrate the many different types of learning and mentoring opportunities that are working in some parts of the world which could be working in many other places. Links in the T/MC web library can help you learn more about the types of innovation and collaboration we seek to encourage within the Tutor/Mentor Connection.
c) eLearning and Collaboration - The T/MC believes that the Internet offers the only hope of gathering millions of people in on-going learning, networking and collaboration that is essential to make more and better tutoring/mentoring and learning opportunities available in all places where they are needed. Workshops in this category will demonstrate the many ways the Internet can be used to distribute knowledge, build collaboration, and help youth and leaders find resources to help them achieve any goal. The following power point illustrates this goal:
d) Leadership Development - workshops in this topic area focus on developing leaders for volunteer-based tutor/mentor programs all over the world. By connecting people who operate such programs with researchers, educators and business leaders, we seek to connect knowledge and partners in a process that leads to a formal education program at one or more universities in the world. Such a program will teach people to use the Internet effectively to learn from each other, to learn to collaborate, and to learn ways to build and sustain effective, volunteer-based tutoring and mentoring-to-career programs where ever they are needed. The goal is to train leaders who will be volunteers, as well as leaders who become the staff and directors of programs. If we can grow a network of business, foundation and public leaders who use their visibility and resources to support the growth of tutor/mentor programs, we can dramatically improve the availability and impact of these programs. Read Role of Leaders.
e) Sustainability - The first four goals lead to this fifth goal. The discussion focuses on innovating ways to distribute needed resources (volunteers, dollars, technology, leaders, etc.) on a continuous and flexible basis to all places where kids need extra help that tutor/mentor programs can provide. Workshops that share innovative sustainability strategies from one part of the country with other parts of the country are most welcome.
Summary: If we can build a growing network of people and organizations who will communicate and share ideas on a regular basis, we can focus a more consistent attention on all parts of the world where help is needed, and hopefully, stabilize the flow of resources, so that programs in multiple locations can grow from good to great, and then stay great for many years. In this type of vision there are funds for on-going operations of needed social benefit organizations, and their are emergency funds to provide relief when a tragedy hits some place in the world and where massive amounts of support are needed. This concept map shows how Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC is trying to build this growing network and where help is needed.